Meals ‘Empower’ Marine Corps Veteran

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As a 31-year-old Marine, David was surprised to find himself tired and weak. At first he brushed it off but over the course of a year, his symptoms increased dramatically and began to affect his daily life. “I felt entirely robbed of energy. It was hard to function,” he said.

Along with his energy, David was losing the use of his right arm—his dominant one. Unable to write and continuing to deal with extreme fatigue, David lost an engineering job he had been working toward and that he had his heart set on. “It was really upsetting. I still think about it.”

David learned he had multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that causes damage to the brain and other parts of the central nervous system. As his disease progressed, he lost his hunger impulse. In a short time, he went from a young, healthy military veteran to someone who had trouble feeding himself or knowing when to eat. He quickly lost 20 pounds.

“I just could never imagine this would be my life,” he said.

Project Angel Heart client with Project Angel Heart meal

During a visit at the VA medical center, though, a dietitian made a referral that would help turn things around for David. She helped him apply to receive weekly meals from Project Angel Heart.

When David received his first meal delivery, he cried. “Project Angel Heart helped relieve one of my major stresses,” David shared.

Each frozen meal reminded David he needed to eat and showed him a healthy portion. He can also easily reheat the meals himself. In just a few months, David’s weight stabilized. For David, though, the benefits went beyond the physical. “There’s a lot of emotional benefit,” he said, pausing with tears in his eyes.

“My wife and I are a team. But she shouldn’t have to do everything. She worries so much about me. But I can do this. It’s empowering.”

He continued, “And when I think of others who could benefit, whose lives could be changed by this simple thing. And then I think of the people who make it possible. It’s incredible.”

David is now looking forward to completing his Master of Science in Engineering degree at Colorado School of Mines.